The wrist is such a small part of the body, it’s hard to imagine that it can be responsible for such discomfort. But think about how often you use your wrists: when you use the computer or read a book. When you pick something off a shelf. When you push your hair back or tie your shoe. Your wrist might be physically small, but it’s a huge part of your life. So, when your wrist is in pain, it affects almost every part of your life.
Causes of Wrist Pain
Like anything other joint pain, there are several causes for pain in the wrist, ranging from injury to overworking to simply aging. Here are some of the ways wrist pain can occur:
- Sudden impact. Have you ever felt yourself falling and stuck your hands out to break your fall? The pressure placed on your wrist when your hands hit the ground can cause wrist pain. Wrist pain can be caused by any number of accident related injuries that put sudden injury on the wrist, spraining and even slightly fracturing them on occasion.
- Arthritis. While osteoarthritis is not especially common in the wrists, it’s still a possibility, as is rheumatoid arthritis. Even gout, while it usually affects the feet, can affect the wrist.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. The inflammation of your median nerve, which runs through the wrist and the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome usually goes hand-in-hand with other medical conditions like diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, or arthritis, but it can be worsened by the overworking of the wrists.
- Stress. Tennis players and writers alike can wear their wrists out by repetitive motion, causing them to become stressed and inflamed.
Oftentimes, the causes of wrist pain can’t be helped, and you can’t put your life on pause waiting for your wrist to recover. So, what can you do about it?
Natural Treatments for Wrist Pain
- Herbs and supplements. Use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic plants can help relieve the pain in your wrists. Some of these can be applied externally, like arnica and fenugreek, while others, like pineapple and vitamin E, can be taken with food.
- Hot and cold compressions. You can reduce swelling in the wrist with controlled temperature compressions. Cold will slow the blood flow to the wrist while hot will relax the nerves and lessen the swelling. Use these only for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to prevent any damage to your skin from the extreme temperatures or rebounded swelling.
- Supportive brace or wrap. A brace or wrap will hold your wrist straight and take some of the pressure off of it as you go about your day. This basically gives your wrist a vacation to recuperate while still allowing you to go through your day and do all the things you would normally do.
Some pain relief wraps even include temperature therapy, like Nanohealth’s Cool Therapy Wrist Brace. These wraps utilize cool therapy rather than hot or cold therapy. This technology maintains the ideal temperature for pain relief and healing, no need to worry about the effects of extreme temperature against your skin. Its thermal wax stays cool for 1-2 hours before it needs charging again. The wrap provides snug comfort and support for your wrist, reducing swelling and allowing it a much needed break while still allowing you maximum flexibility.
Your wrists are no small matter, especially when they’re in pain. Be aware of the causes, and know what to do to treat the pain and get back to your life!